The Anonymous Widower

Extending The Elizabeth Line – Serving South-East London

The Inadequacies Of Abbey Wood Station

Abbey Wood station is the Elizabeth Line’s main terminus in South-East London.

The architecture is impressive, as the pictures taken before the station was finished show.

But other things are less than impressive.

  • There is no station parking.
  • Central London rail terminals served by Elizbeth Line services are only Liverpool Street/Moorgate and Paddington.
  • Central London rail terminals served by National Rail services are Cannon Street, London Bridge, King’s Cross and St. Pancras.

In my view, Abbey Wood is a lost cause, as a commuter station, unless substantial parking is built at the station.

Parking At Stations In West Kent

This list shows the number of car parking spaces at stations in West Kent and South East London.

  • Barnehurst – 162 *
  • Belvedere – None *
  • Bexleyheath – 83 *
  • Chatham – 276 *
  • Dartford – 186 *
  • Ebbsfleet International – 4945 #
  • Erith – None *
  • Eynsford – 15
  • Farningham Road – None
  • Gillingham – 152 *
  • Gravesend – 94 *
  • Greenhithe – 8 *
  • Longfield – 88
  • Meopham – 167
  • Northfleet – None *
  • Plumstead – None *
  • Rochester – None *
  • St. Mary Cray – 31
  • Slade Green – 25
  • Sole Street – 61
  • Stone Crossing – None *
  • Strood – 112 *
  • Swanley – 106
  • Swanscombe – None *
  • Welling – 117

Note.

  1. An asterisk (*) indicates direct trains to and from Abbey Wood station for the Elizabeth Line.
  2. An hash(#) indicates direct trains to and from Stratford International for the Elizabeth Line.

These figures are according to the National Rail web site.

It looks like unless you can walk to your nearest station and that has an easy connection to Abbey Wood, you’re probably better off going to Ebbsfleet and parking there.

Travelling Between Ebbsfleet International And The Elizabeth Line At Stratford International

Consider.

  • Southeastern’s Highspeed service between Ebbsfleet International and Stratford International has a frequency of three trains per hour (tph)
  • It takes less than twelve minutes between the two stations.
  • It takes ten minutes to walk between Stratford International and Stratford Station for the Elizabeth Line and Greater Anglia services.
  • There are eight Elizabeth Line tph to Paddington, calling at all stations. For Heathrow change at Whitechapel station.

Note.

  1. From these points, it should be possible to estimate the time you should park at Ebbsfleet to get to an event in London or East Anglia, if you live in Kent and are parking at Ebbsfleet International.
  2. I think four tph between Ebbsfleet International and Stratford International would make the route more attractive.
  3. If you’re going to Norwich or Ipswich be careful, as only one of the two tph stop at Stratford.

I catch the 12:30 from Liverpool Street for matches at Ipswich on Saturdays. This is the 12:38 from Stratford, so I suspect if you parked at parked at Ebbsfleet before 12:00, you’d make it.

Who’d have thought, that when they built the massive car parks at Ebbsfleet international, that they would be a Park-and-Ride for football at Ipswich. And Norwich too!

Changing Trains At Stratford

This map from Cartometro shows the two Stratford stations.

Note.

  1. The Elizabeth Line is shown in purple.
  2. The Central Line is shown in red.
  3. The Jubilee Line is shown in silver.
  4. The Overground is shown in orange.
  5. Lifts and escalators take passengers to and from the surface from between platforms 2 and 3 at Stratford International station.

Two pedestrian tunnels connect all the platforms in Stratford station.

  • Elizabeth Line trains use platforms 5 and 8.
  • Central Line trains use platforms 3, 3a and 6.
  • Great Eastern Main Line trains use platforms 9, 9a and 10.
  • Overground trains use platforms 1 and 2.

All platforms have lifts.

I suspect, that when you get to know the Stratford complex well, it’s easier than it looks.

But it does need better signage.

Full Step-Free Route Between Ebbsfleet And Heathrow Central

I have just used Transport for London’s Journey Planner, as if I was in a wheelchair and need full step-free access to go from Ebbsfleet to Heathrow Central.

This was the route.

  • Southeastern to Stratford International station – 10 mins
  • Walk to Stratford station – 21 mins
  • Jubilee Line to Bond Street – 24 mins
  • Bond Street to Heathrow Central – 32 mins

Note.

  1. The times are slower than say myself.
  2. I think it is possible to pick up the Elizabeth Line at Stratford.

But the route is certainly possible in a wheel-chair.

The Penge Interchange

This map from Cartometro shows where the East London Line of the London Overground and the Chatham Main Line between Victoria and Chatham cross in Penge.

Note.

  1. The East London Line runs North-South through Sydenham and Penge West stations.
  2. The Chatham Main Line runs through Penge East station.

There is a plan by Transport for London to create a Penge Interchange station on railway land, where the two lines cross.

  • The station could replace Penge West and Penge East stations.
  • It would be fully step-free.
  • Interchange would be allowed between the East London Line and the Chatham Main Line.

This would increase connectivity for those travelling to and from South-East London and West Kent.

I brlieve that this one interchange could help level-up a large area of South-East London.

 

January 29, 2023 Posted by | Sport, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Elizabeth Line: Commuters Say Service ‘Not What Was Promised’

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

This is the sub-heading to the article by Tom Edwards.

All of the huge modernist stations are now open and it is architecturally impressive, but what has service on the Elizabeth line been like since it opened in the summer?

These three paragraphs talk about how passengers have reported problems to Tom.

Many say it has been hit and miss, and commuters in West Ealing have been in touch with me to highlight some of the problems.

They recorded some of their journeys for BBC London, and it doesn’t look pleasant.

Many are really fed up with the delays and cancellations and above all the overcrowding.

As with many new railways, like the London Overground, the Borders Railway and the Dartmoor Line, the passenger numbers on the Elizabeth Line have exceeded projections.

The main reasons are probably.

  • Convenience of the new route and its stations.
  • Curiosity about the new infrastructure.
  • The improved access to the trains with heavy cases.

But in the case of the Elizabeth Line two other factors also apply.

Are Passengers Changing From the Piccadilly to the Elizabeth Line?

Consider.

  • The Piccadilly Line trains are smaller than the Elizabeth Line trains.
  • The Piccadilly Line trains are not air-conditioned.
  • Heathrow Central to Holborn is 62 minutes on the Piccadilly Line and several minutes quicker using the Elizabeth and Central Lines with a change at Bond Street or Tottenham Court Road.

Many passengers, who previously used the Piccadilly Line may swap to the Elizabeth Line for a quicker journey on a more comfortable and spacious train.

The new Piccadilly Line trains will have more space, walk-through carriages and air conditioning, so may well tempt passengers back.

Bond Street And All Stations To the East On the Elizabeth Line Are Only Five Minutes Slower By Elizabeth Line Direct

Consider.

  • Heathrow Central and Bond Street is 38 minutes using Heathrow Express and the Elizabeth Line with a change at Paddington.
  • Using the Elizabeth Line all the way takes 43 minutes.
  • The figures for Liverpool Street are 46 and 51 minutes respectively.
  • The figures for Canary Wharf are 53 and 58 minutes respectively.

Note.

  1. The direct route avoids the change at Paddington.
  2. The change at Paddington between Heathrow Express and the Elizabeth Line is not onerous.
  3. Routes using Heathrow Express are fifteen pounds more expensive.
  4. If you’re desperate for a coffee, you can pick one up, when you change at Paddington using Heathrow express.

I believe a regular traveller to Heathrow, who has easy access to an Elizabeth Line station and in the past has used Heathrow Express will give the Elizabeth Line a chance.

The Jewel In The East Is On The Elizabeth Line

In 2014, I wrote Is Whitechapel Station Going To Be A Jewel In The East?.

Consider.

  • The Elizabeth Line will go through the station with a frequency of up to 24 trains per hour (tph).
  • The two Eastern branches of the Elizabeth Line split to the East of Whitechapel station.
  • There will be four tph between Heathrow and Whitechapel.
  • The East London Line of the London Overground goes through the station with a frequency of 16 tph, that will be raised to at least 20 tph in a few years.
  • The District Line goes through the station with a frequency of upwards of 12 tph.
  • The Hammersmith and City Line goes through the station with a frequency of 6 tph.
  • The station has large numbers of lifts and escalators.

Passengers from all over the Eastern half of London will change at Whitechapel on their journey to and from Heathrow.

Farrington station Connects Thameslink And The Elizabeth Line

Consider.

  • The Elizabeth Line will go through Farringdon station with a frequency of up to 24 tph.
  • The Circle, Hammersmith and City and the Metropolitan Lines will go through the station with a combined frequency of up to 24 tph.
  • Thameslink will go through the station with a frequency of up to 14 tph.

Passengers from Thameslink’s catchment area will change at Farringdon on their journey to and from Heathrow.

Overcrowding On The Elizabeth Line

It is not a surprise to me, that the Western end of the Elizabeth Line is overcrowded.

I noticed it in November 3022, when I wrote So Many Cases On A Train!.

What Can Be Done To Ease The Overcrowding?

These are possible ways to ease the overcrowding.

Increase The Number Of Trains To Heathrow

I would feel the obvious way to increase the number of trains to Heathrow, would be to run direct trains between Shenfield and Heathrow.

Currently, there are these trains.

  • 4 tph – Heathrow Express – Paddington and Terminal 5
  • 2 tph – Elizabeth Line – Abbey Wood and Terminal 4
  • 2 tph – Elizabeth Line – Abbey Wood and Terminal 5

But is there the capacity to add extra trains between Hayes & Harlington and Heathrow through the tunnel?

Run A Service Between Shenfield And Hayes & Harlington

This would add capacity in West London, where it is needed, but wouldn’t add any extra trains through the tunnel to Heathrow.

By timing this service in combination with the Elizabeth Line services to Heathrow, I suspect a very efficient service between Heathrow and both Eastern terminals could be devised.

  • As four tph run between Abbey Wood and Heathrow, four tph would be run between Shenfield and Hayes & Harlington.
  • Going towards Heathrow, the train from Shenfield to Hayes & Harlington would be a few minutes in front of the train from Abbey Wood to Heathrow. Passengers going from Shenfield to Heathrow would be instructed to change at any station between Whitechapel  and Southall, by waiting a few minutes for the following train.
  • Coming from Heathrow, passengers wanting to go to Shenfield would walk across the platform at Hayes & Harlington to catch the waiting train to Shenfield. The Shenfield train would follow a few minutes behind the Abbey Wood train.

Note.

  1. The two train services would run as a pair, a few minutes apart.
  2. No new infrastructure would be required.

Currently, there are eight tph between Whitechapel and Hayes & Harlington.

Four tph between Shenfield and Hayes & Harlington would increase the following.

  • The capacity between Whitechapel and Hayes & Harlington by fifty percent.
  • The train frequency in the central tunnel to twenty tph or a train every three minutes.
  • The frequency between Paddington and Shenfield to twelve tph.

There would still be four tph available for more services.

 

 

 

 

 

January 25, 2023 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Whitechapel Shortcut

Note that this post is unfinished.

When the East London Line of the London Overground opened just over a decade ago, the interchange with the District and Hammersmith and City Lines at Whitechapel station was not one of the best.

  • There were no lifts.
  • The stairs were too narrow and inadequate for the number of passengers using the interchange.
  • Adding extra Overground trains to Clapham Junction station didn’t help.

If the Elizabeth Line had been added without extra work, the station’s passageways and stairs would have jammed solid.

  • But improvements were added, when the station was expanded to handle the Elizabeth Line.
  • A wide interchange plaza was created between the Eastern ends of the District and Hammersmith and City Line platforms.
  • A double-width spiral staircase was installed between the Eastern end of the interchange plaza and the Southbound East London Line of the Overground.
  • A convenient lift was installed alongside the spiral staircase.
  • The original staircases to and from the Northbound East London Line of the Overground were updated and augmented by a lift.
  • Passengers entering or leaving the station, were given alternative routes to avoid the interchange plaza.

These pictures show the interchange plaza and the various lifts and staircases.

Note.

  1. The spiral stairs and the lift at the Eastern end of the plaza.
  2. The Eastern ends of the District and Hammersmith and City Line trains connect directly with the plaza.

It seems to be working well, since the opening of the Elizabeth Line.

Using The Whitechapel Shortcut

There are eight ways to change between the District and Hammersmith and City Lines and the Overground at Whitechapel station.

Southbound Overground To Westbound District And Hammersmith and City Lines

Today, I travelled between Haggerston and Moorgate stations, which I wrote about in From Haggerston To Moorgate.

I could have changed at Whitechapel station for the brand-new Elizabeth Line, but this would have meant a long walk to get to the Moorgate end of Liverpool Street station.

So I did this.

  •  I got in the front carriage of the Overground train at Haggerston station, which was conveniently by the lift at the station.
  • This meant that on exiting the train, I was by the lift to the interchange plaza at Whitechapel station.
  • The lift took me up a level to the District and Hammersmith and City Line platforms.
  • I got in the rear carriage of a Hammersmith and City Line train to Moorgate station.
  • This positioned me by the lift to the exit at Moorgate station.

I would be surprised if I walked much more than sixty metres between the two station entrances, as against the road distance of around two-and-a-half miles.

Southbound Overground To Eastbound District And Hammersmith and City Lines

This is very similar to the previous section except that you take the District And Hammersmith and City Line trains from the opposite platform.

Northbound Overground To Westbound District And Hammersmith and City Lines

There are two staircases and two lifts between the Northbound Overground and the interchange plaza.

Choose your stairs or lift and then take the Westbound District and Hammersmith and City Line.

Northbound Overground To Eastbound District And Hammersmith and City Lines

This is very similar to the previous section except that you take the District And Hammersmith and City Line trains from the opposite platform.

Westbound District And Hammersmith and City Lines To Southbound Overground

Eastbound District And Hammersmith and City Lines To Southbound Overground

Walk to the interchange plaza and choose the spiral stairs or lift.

Westbound District And Hammersmith and City Lines To Northbound Overground

Eastbound District And Hammersmith and City Lines To Northbound Overground

Walk to the interchange plaza and choose your stairs or lift.

Conclusion

It’s all very quick and painless.

 

 

October 20, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Dalston Junction To Moorgate Via The Elizabeth Line

This morning to get my breakfast at Leon on Moorgate, I took the longer route via Dalston Junction and Whitechapel stations using the East London and Elizabeth Lines.

Note.

  1. I travelled in the last coach of the Overground train from Dalston Junction station.
  2. I travelled towards the front of the Elizabeth Line train from Whitechapel station.
  3. There are lifts between Overground and the Elizabeth Line at Whitechapel station.
  4. All the escalators have traffic lights.
  5. Using stairs and escalator, the change at Whitechapel station took around two minutes.

The total journey time was just over 25 minutes.

June 10, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Will Whitechapel Station Have The Widest Platform On The Underground?

I took this picture across the island platform for the Sub Surface Lines at Whitechapel station, this morning.

It will certainly be a wide platform, when the station is completed.

It is also shown on this map from carto metro of the lines through the station.

Note.

  1. Crossrail is shown in purple.
  2. The Overground is shown  in orange.
  3. The Sub Surface Lines are shown in green and red.

Platforms 1 and 2 form a very wide island platform.

The station is unique in that three full-size high-capacity and high-frequency lines connect at the station.

  • Crossrail – East-West – 24 tph – 1,500 passengers per train.
  • Sub Surface Lines – East-West – 21 tph – 1209 passengers per train
  • Overground – North-South – 16 tph – 170 passengers per train

A lot of passengers will change trains at Whitechapel station, so the spacious platform will be useful.

Will passengers also use the platform to reverse direction.

The quickest way between Liverpool Street and Blackfriars stations is to get a Circle Line train, but passengers could go two stops on a Hammersmith and City train to Whitechapel, walk across the platform and then take the District Line to Victoria.

Alternatively, you could take Crossrail to Whitechapel to get the District Line.

But the latter is in the advanced course on Ducking and Diving.

 

August 10, 2021 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , , , | 5 Comments

Would A Mutant Many-Parent Child Help To Solve London’s Transport Problems?

London needs to increase the capacity of its public transport system, as the City continues to get larger and larger.

Current Major Projects

There are only three major rail projects ongoing in London at the present time.

The Bank Station Upgrade

The Bank Station Upgrade appears to be progressing well, albeit perhaps it’s a bit late due to the pandemic.

It is a complex project and from what I have heard and observed, it has been well designed and planned.

The Barking Riverside Extension

As with the Bank Station Upgrade the Overground extension to the new Barking Riverside station, appears to be going reasonably well.

But compared to that project, it is a relatively simple project, built mainly in the open air, with no tunneling.

Crossrail

Crossrail is in trouble, after what many believe was a very good tunnelling phase of the project.

But then tunnels under London usually seem to go well. I can remember the Victoria Line tunnelling and many other under London since the 1960s and all of these tunnels seem to have been dug without trouble. As I write, there don’t seem to be any tunneling problems with the Thames Tideway Tunnel.

Crossrail now has been reduced to a series of station builds and rebuilds, some of which are as large as the Bank Station Upgrade, with other ongoing projects like the testing of trains and systems.

So why are some of these stations running late in their delivery?

If you walk along the route of Crossrail in the City of London and through Clerkenwell and the West End, it is one massive building side as developers raise massive clusters of new developments around and above the Crossrail stations.

The picture shows Farrington station’s Eastern entrance, with a new development on top.

This one wasn’t a big one, but it went up in record time.

These buildings are often funded by Sovereign Wealth Funds, who want their buildings finished ASAP and as they have bottomless pockets, they are prepared to pay more to get the builders and tradesmen they need.

And where did they get the workers from? Other projects, including Crossrail.

This problem happened in Aberdeen at the height of the oil boom in the last century.

I also think that Brexit worsened the problem, as workers from mainland EU moved to large projects closer to home, like Stuttgart 21 and the new Berlin Brandenburg airport, that were both very much in trouble and could have been offering premium salaries as well!

The solution would have been to phase developments so that the limited pool of workers was not exhausted.

But that probably wouldn’t have suited the developers and politicians for all sorts of reasons.

  • An uncompleted building doesn’t bring in money and jobs.
  • Early completion must improve chances of letting the building.
  • Delaying the building would probably have meant fewer holidays for politicians in exotic locations.

Hopefully, a comprehensive enquiry into the lateness of Crossrail will provide answers.

High Speed Two

High Speed Two is to my mind a London local project. But only in a secondary way!

  • Rebuilding Euston station will improve Underground connections and interchange at Euston and Euston Square stations.
  • It is claimed by High Speed Two, that the rebuilt Euston station will create 16000 jobs and 2200 homes.
  • High Speed Two will enable massive development at Old Oak Common, with tens of thousands of homes and jobs.
  • Old Oak Common station will be a very important rail hub in North-West London.

With seventeen trains per hour (tph) between Euston and Old Oak Common will High Speed Two attract local traffic?

  • I suspect High Speed Two between Manchester Airport and Manchester Piccadilly and between Birmingham Interchange and Birmingham Curzon Street will also attract local traffic.
  • I’ve used TGVs between Nice and Antibes.
  • Tourists might visit, just like they did and still do at the Olympic Park.
  • Many Londoners will join High Speed Two at Old Oak Common.

Some wag will suggest putting it on the Tube Map. But is it such a stupid idea?

Where Does London Need More Rail Services?

Having lived in London on and off for over seventy years, I feel the worst areas for rail links are probably.

  • North West London
  • South East London
  • South Central London between Wimbledon and Croydon.
  • South West London

Note.

  1. Over the years, there is no doubt that East and North London have improved considerably, with the development of the East London, North London and Gospel Oak to Barking Lines.
  2. Thameslink has been improved in North London and now it is being supported with improvements to the Northern City Line. Both routes now have new Siemens trains, which give a whole new dimension to using ironing-boards as seats.
  3. Crossrail will produce major improvements in West, East and South East London.
  4. Building of a new Penge Interchange station, which I wrote about in Penge Interchange could improve routes to and from South East London.
  5. Hopefully the work in recent years at Waterloo will improve suburban services out of Waterloo. In An Analysis Of Waterloo Suburban Services Proposed To Move To Crossrail 2, I showed that four tph could be run to Chessington South, Epsom, Hampton Court and Shepperton stations.

It looks like North West and South Central London are missing out.

How Can Services Be Improved In North West London?

There are radial routes from the centre of London to the suburbs.

Starting from the North and going to the West, there are the following lines.

When I used to live at Cockfosters as a child,  to visit my many cousins in North West London, there was no alternative but to use a bus and take well over an hour each way.

There are now some circular rail routes in London but nothing in the North West of the capital.

The Dudding Hill Line And The West London Orbital Railway

But there is the little-used freight route called Dudding Hill Line.

  • It runs between Cricklewood on the Midland Main Line and Acton Central on the North London Line.
  • It is four miles of double-track railway.

This YouTube video shows a cab ride from Acton to Cricklewood.

Plans exist to turn it into the West London Orbital Railway, which will run two services.

  • West Hampstead and Hounslow via Cricklewood, Neasden, Harlesden, Old Oak Common Lane, Acton Central, South Acton, Lionel Road, Brentford, Syon Lane and Isleworth
  • Hendon and Kew Bridge via Brent Cross West, Neasden, Harlesden, Old Oak Common Lane, Acton Central, South Acton

Note.

  1. The proposed frequency of both services is four tph.
  2. There would be some stations to be built, but the track exists.
  3. There would be no new tunnels.
  4. The route is technically feasible.
  5. The route would connect West London to High Speed Two.
  6. There would be little disruption whilst it was built.
  7. The services could be run by dual-voltage battery-electric trains charged on the electrification at both ends of the route.
  8. The scheme represents a high value for money, with a benefit-cost ratio (BCR) of 2.2.

On the other hand, the scheme has two serious problems, as far as the current London Mayor is concerned.

  • Transport for London has no money, partly because of London’s Fare Freeze.
  • The project is not in South London.

This important and value-for-money project will not be built, whilst Sadiq Khan is still Mayor of London.

Harlesden Interchange

I believe that if we get the interchanges right on the West London Orbital Railway correct we can do things like.

  • Increase the benefit cost ratio.
  • Link the route to South London to make the Mayor a bit happier about the North London Scheme.

This Google Map shows Harlesden station.

Note.

  1. The Bakerloo Line/Watford DC Line running North-West/South-East through Harlesden station.
  2. The West Coast Main Line in the Southern section of the map.
  3. The Dudding Hill Line running North-South across the map.

Platforms will be built on the Dudding Hill Line to connect that would probably be new or extended platforms in the current Harlesden station to enable interchange between the West London Orbital and the Watford DC Lines.

I also think there is a possibility that platforms could be added to the slow tracks of the West Coast Main Line, so that suburban services into London Euston can also connect to the West London Orbital Line.

It would also enable a connection between Southern’s Clapham Junction and Milton Keynes service and the West London Orbital Railway.

Looking at this from various angles, I think that an architect good at designing three-dimensional structures could develop a quality Harlesden Interchange station.

Neasden Interchange

Like Harlesden, Neasden is another possibility for a comprehensive interchange.

This Google Map shows Neasden station.

Note.

  1. There are a lot of lines going through Neasden station.
  2. The Dudding Hill Line goes across the South-East corner of the map.
  3. There is plenty of space in the area.

This map from cartometro.com shows the lines in the area.

Note.

  1. The Dudding Hill Line is indicated by the former Dudding Hill station.
  2. The red tracks are Metropolitan Line tracks.
  3. The silver tracks are Jubilee Line tracks.
  4. The Southerly pair of lines through Neasden and Dollis Hill stations are Chiltern’s lines into Marylebone.
  5. The Chiltern tracks divide to the West of Neasden station, with the Aylesbury line following the other tracks and the Chiltern Main Line diverging to the West.
  6. London’s largest Underground Depot at Neasden, lies to the North-West in an area of London noted for few merits with the North Circular Road passing through.

I wonder, if the station and the depot offers a unique opportunity to offer large scale additions to London’s housing stock over the top of a rebuilt station and depot.

This Google Map shows the wider area.

Note.

  1. Much of the depot appears to be open-air stabling for trains.
  2. The North Circular Road passes North-South between the depot and Neasden station.
  3. The Dudding Hill Line cuts across the South-East corner of the map.
  4. This corner of the map is labelled as Dudden Hill.
  5. According to Wikipedia, Dudding Hill is considered a more genteel spelling of Dudden Hill and could be as old as 1544.

It looks as if it would be relatively easy to develop over the top of the depot to create housing, industrial or commercial properties.

But why stop there and cover both the North Circular Road and the six tracks through Neasden station?

Neasden station could be rebuilt into a station with platforms on the following lines.

  • Metropolitan Line
  • Jubilee Line
  • Chiltern Lines
  • Dudding Hill Lines

Note.

  1. I estimate that Chiltern has a train about every six minutes, so some could stop.
  2. There might be space for a bay platform for Chiltern.

Neasden could be a major housing and transport hub.

  • There could be large amounts of parking.
  • Road access would be good.
  • It would have good rail connections.
  • It could have a bus interchange.
  • London needs housing.

It might even be an alternative to Chiltern’s plan for a West Hampstead Interchange.

The Mayor of London, Transport for London and the Borough of Brent need to be bold!

Improvements To Chiltern’s Routes

Chiltern Railways have some plans that could improve services in North West London.

Using The Acton-Northolt Line

Wikipedia says this about using the Acton-Northolt Line to access new platforms at Old Oak Common station.

Upgrading the Acton–Northolt line (formerly the “New North Main Line”) to new platforms at Old Oak Common. This upgrade will also extend to London Paddington to increase capacity on the Chiltern Main Line as there is no room to expand the station at Marylebone.

This scheme has merit.

  • The platforms would be connected to the Chiltern Main Line along the route of a partly-disused railway.
  • The route could be double-tracked.
  • There must be space for at least two new platforms.
  • The new platforms could easily handle four tph.
  • There may be a case for some new stations.

The scheme could add valuable extra capacity for Chiltern.

A Chiltern Metro

Wikipedia says this about a  proposed metro service between Marylebone and West Ruislip stations.

  • The Metro would have a frequency of four tph.
  • It would call at Wembley Stadium, Sudbury & Harrow Road, Sudbury Hill Harrow, Northolt Park and South Ruislip.
  • The service would require a reversing facility at West Ruislip.
  • There would need to be passing loops at Sudbury Hill Harrow, and  Wembley Stadium.

Given that the Chiltern Metro was first proposed over a decade ago, perhaps the concept could be increased in scope.

  • Housing and other developments along the route may suggest that a station further out like High Wycombe might be a better terminal.
  • ERTMS in-cab digital signalling is likely to be installed at some time, which would decrease headways between trains and allow more services.
  • Electrification is likely in some form before 2040 and this will improve train performance.
  • If Neasden station were to be rebuilt, as a comprehensive transport and residential development, I believe that this Metro service should also call at Neasden, as it would complement the West London Orbital Railway.

I believe that a review of the Chiltern Metro may mean, that an improved version is worth building.

Improvements To The Milton Keynes And Clapham Junction Service

I feel that this service could be key in improving services between North London and South London via the West London Line and High Speed Two’s station at Old Oak Common.

Currently, this service is as follows.

  • It runs between Milton Keynes and Clapham Junction stations.
  • It has a frequency of one tph.
  • It calls at Bletchley, Leighton Buzzard, Tring, Berkhamsted, Hemel Hempstead, Watford Junction, Harrow & Wealdstone, Wembley Central, Shepherd’s Bush, Kensington (Olympia), West Brompton and Imperial Wharf stations.
  • The service used to extend to South Croydon via Wandsworth Common, Balham, Streatham Common, Norbury, Thornton Heath, Selhurst and East Croydon.
  • It uses Class 377 trains.
  • It shares parts of the route with the London Overground.

I also think it has various issues and questions with respect to the future.

  • The Class 377 trains are only 100 mph units, whereas the outer suburban trains on the West Coast Main Line are 110 mph Class 350 trains, which will soon be replaced by 110 mph Class 730 trains. Do the slower trains cause timetabling problems?
  • Is one tph enough?
  • The route doesn’t serve High Speed Two at Old Oak Common station.
  • Is the service run by the right operator?
  • What is the ideal Southern terminal?

These are my thoughts on the various issues.

The Service As A North-South Link

A friend, who lives in South London has told me, that if you go to an event at Wembley stadium the route is busy.

On the other hand, I’ve used it at midday on a Tuesday and found the trains empty.

But developed properly it could connect the following.

  • Milton Keynes Central
  • Bletchley for the East West Rail Link
  • Watford for the West Coast Main Line to the North
  • Wembley Central for Wembley Stadium and other entertainments
  • Willesden Junction for the North London Line
  • Hythe Road for High Speed Two, Crossrail and the Great Western Railway
  • Shepherd’s Bush for the shopping.
  • Clapham Junction for most of South London and the South of England

It would be a very useful cross-London route to complement Thameslink and the East London Line.

The Frequency

The current Milton Keynes and Clapham Junction has a frequency of one tph.

This may be enough for some parts of the route, as other services also provide services.

But many would argue, that perhaps South of Watford Junction, the service needs to be increased to connect the area to Old Oak Common and Clapham Junction.

I feel that High Speed Two, Crossrail and the Great Western Railway give so much connectivity, that between Clapham Junction and Willesden Junction needs a frequency of at least eight tph.

As the North London Line and the Watford DC Line are working at a frequency of four tph, this could indicate that a four tph direct service Watford Junction and Clapham Junction be ideal. Perhaps, it could continue North to Milton Keynes with a frequency of two tph.

The Trains

I am absolutely certain, that the full service needs to be operated by dual voltage trains, that are capable of running at 110 mph.

The Class 350/1 trains of West Midlands Trains would probably be ideal for the full service.

  • They are dual voltage trains.
  • They are 110 mph trains.
  • They have a long distance interior.

They are being replaced with new Class 730 trains, so would be available.

If some services were running only as far North as Watford Junction, these could be either Class 378 or Class 710 trains of the London Overground.

The Connection To The West London Line And High Speed Two

This map from Wikipedia by Cnbrb shows the latest iteration of the lines at Old Oak Common station.

Note.

  1. The green route is taken by the Milton Keynes and Clapham Junction trains.
  2. The bright blue is High Speed Two.
  3. The purple is Crossrail.
  4. The orange is the Overground
  5. Hythe Road station is proposed for the West London Line to connect to Old Oak Common station for High Speed Two.
  6. Hythe Road station will have a bay platform to turn trains from the South.
  7. Old Oak Common Lane station is proposed for the North London Line to connect to Old Oak Common station for High Speed Two.

But where is the connection between the Milton Keynes and Clapham Junction service and Old Oak Common station for High Speed Two?

  • Access from the South is not a problem as the Overground can be used to Hythe Road station.
  • Extra services from the South can be run to and from the bay platform at Hythe Road station.
  • Access from the East is not a problem as the Overground can be used to Hythe Road station.
  • How do passengers go between say Wembley Central and Heathrow?

In addition for access from the West is the Overground can be used to Old Oak Common Lane station.

But as things stand at the moment the Milton Keynes and Clapham Junction service bypasses Hythe Road station and the only ways to go from Milton Keynes to Old Oak Common station for either High Speed Two, Crossrail or the Great Western is to do one of the following.

  • Change to the Watford DC Line at Watford Junction, Harrow & Wealdstone or Wembley Central and then change to the Overground at Willesden Junction for either Old Oak Common Lane or Hythe Road station.
  • Continue South to Shepherd’s Bush station, cross over to the other platform and then come back to Hythe Road station.
  • Go via Euston station. OK for High Speed Two, but not for Crossrail or the Great Western.

They cannot be serious!

I hope that there is a cunning plan to enable the Milton Keynes and Clapham Junction service to connect.

Whilst on the subject of connections at Old Oak Common, where is the promised connection of Crossrail to the West Coast Main Line?

Were all these connections just kicked into the long grass and quietly forgotten, as they were deemed too difficult and/or expensive?

I think serious questions need to be asked about the design of Crossrail and High Speed Two at Old Oak Common.

Why weren’t Crossrail and High Speed Two designed to connect directly to the London Overground at Willesden Junction station perhaps by the use of a North South people mover serving the following lines?

  • Bakerloo, Watford DC, West Coast Main and West London Orbital Lines at a rebuilt Harlesden station.
  • London Overground at the high-level Willesden Junction station.
  • High Speed Two
  • Crossrail and the Great Western Railway
  • The new Chiltern platforms.
  • Central Line at East Acton station.

Note.

  1. Hythe Road and Old Oak Common stations would not be needed.
  2. The Milton Keynes and Clapham Junction service would call additionally at the rebuilt Harlesden station.

The current design of Old Oak Common stinks like a horse designed by a committee!

The Northern Terminal

I suggested earlier that some trains use Watford Junction and others use Milton Keynes Central.

Both stations have the capacity and the connectivity.

The Southern Terminal

In the last ten years, South Croydon, East Croydon and Clapham Junction have been used as the Southern terminal.

Thameslink seems to have chosen its various terminals to satisfaction of the travelling public, so perhaps the same method or personnel should be used.

The Operator

The Gibb Report said that this service should be transferred to the London Overground and I wrote about this proposal in Gibb Report – East Croydon – Milton Keynes Route Should Be Transferred To London Overground.

This is one suggestion, but I do wonder, if it should be transferred to West Midlands Trains and run in conjunction with their West Coast Main Line services.

  • The service needs 110 mph trains.
  • Timetabling and operation should be easier.
  • London Overground trains don’t have a long-distance interior.

On the other hand, trains running between Watford Junction and Clapham Junction would probably be better if they were London Overground trains.

Conclusion

I believe that by using the current network and some modern trains and signalling, the passenger services to the West of the capital can be substantially improved.

 

 

 

 

May 1, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Thoughts On The Closure Of The Northern Line At Bank To Complete The Upgrade To Bank Station

The Bank Station Upgrade is a major project that will increase the capacity of Bank station by forty percent.

This document on the Transport for London web site gives details of the project.

It was originally planned that sometime in late 2021, the Northern Line will be closed through Bank station.

The document says this.

We will need to close part of the Northern line Bank branch in 2021, between Kennington and Moorgate, to connect new and existing sections of tunnel safely. Trains will run less frequently on those sections of the Bank branch that are still open. Check back here for details.

This would mean that Bank, London Bridge, Borough and Elephant & Castle stations will be closed on the Northern Line.

To help passengers, TfL say, they will do the following.

  • Run 33% more trains on the Northern line Charing Cross branch
  • Review bus use and consider enhancing services where necessary
  • Investigate scope for passengers to use alternative National Rail services, such as Waterloo to London Bridge, and London Bridge to Cannon Street
  • Review available walking space on the Moorgate to London Bridge pedestrian corridor.

These are my thoughts.

The New Cannon Street Entrance To Bank Station

This visualisation shows the new Cannon Street entrance to Bank station.

Note.

  1. South is to the right and we’re looking from roughly the North-West.
  2. The existing twin bores of the Northern Line on the far side of the visualisation.
  3. The escalator connection to the District and Circle Lines at Monument station Starts at the Southern end of these two narrow platforms.
  4. The new single bore of the new Southbound tunnel on the near side of the visualisation.
  5. The triple escalators descending from the new Cannon Street entrance to one of the four cross-walks between the Northern Line platforms.
  6. The current Eastern ends of these cross-walks are shown in The Southbound Northern Line Platform At Bank Station.

But where is the Docklands Light Railway (DLR)?

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines at Bank station.

Note.

  1. The two existing Northern Line Platforms 3 and 4 are shown in black.
  2. The Central Line is shown in red.
  3. The DLR is shown in turquoise and sneaks under the Northern Line into Platforms 9 and 10.
  4. Platforms 7 and 8 are the platforms of the Waterloo and City Line.
  5. It would appear that the escalator connection between Bank and Monument stations goes between the existing tracks of the Northern Line.

So where is the Docklands Light Railway?

  • As Platforms 3 and 9 appear to be close together with Platform 9, the deeper of the two, I suspect we can’t see  the Docklands Light Railway in the visualisation, as it is hidden behind and underneath everything else.
  • I also suspect that the triple escalators between the new Northern Line cross-walks descend in the space at the Southern ends of Platforms 9 and 10.

This is the Northern end of the visualisation I showed earlier

Note.

  1. North is to the left.
  2. The two tracks and the narrow island platform of the current Northern Line on the far side of the visualisation.
  3. The two staircases leading up from Northern Line to a lobby, where passengers can walk North to the Central Line.
  4. The double escalator barrel going down to the DLR.
  5. The travelator that will connect the Northern and Central Lines
  6. The three cross passages linking the DLR escalators to the lobby between the Central and Northern Lines.
  7. The most Southerly of these cross passages has a lift to the DLR.

The new Southbound platform of the Northern Line, would appear to be to the West of the Docklands Light Railway.

It appears to be a very tight fit.

These pictures show the current status of the new entrance.

There would appear to be still a lot to be done.

This TfL image shows how it will look in 2022.

Ducking And Diving

No-one ducks and dives like Londoners. So rest assured, that if someone needs to get from A to B and the obvious route is blocked, Londoners will always get through. And if all else fails, a black cab will find a way, usually driven by a Londoner or someone infected with the ducking and diving virus.

Crossrail

As ever Crossrail is the herd of elephants in the London railway system.

The Northern Line is possibly the most important North-South route across Central London with two branches through the centre; Bank and Charing Cross.

But Crossrail connects to these  North-South routes.

  • Lea Valley Lines at Stratford
  • East London Line at Whitechapel
  • Lea Valley and West Anglia Lines at Stratford
  • Northern Line Bank Branch at Moorgate/Liverpool Street
  • Northern and City Line at Moorgate/Liverpool Street
  • Thameslink at Farringdon
  • Northern Line Charing Cross Branch at Tottenham Court Road
  • Jubilee Line at Bond Street
  • Bakerloo Line at Paddington

Crossrail will give a lot of opportunities for ducking and diving.

Under original plans Crossrail was supposed to open in 2019, with the Bank station closure for the upgrade in 2021.

This phasing certainly seemed a good idea at the time.

  • Crossrail will be able to offer alternative routes during the closure.
  • If the Crossrail stations are substantially complete, they can release workers to finish Bank station.

I wonder, if it would be sensible to not upgrade the tracks through Bank station until Crossrail opens through Moorgate/Liverpool Street.

As I wrote in Your First Crossrail Service May Arrive In Time For Christmas, Crossrail could open this year.

So are we being prepared for the mother of all cunning plans?

  • Crossrail between Paddington and Abbey Wood opens before Christmas.
  • The closure of the Bank branch to allow the Bank station upgrade happens at a convenient time after the opening of Crossrail through Moorgate/Liverpool Street.
  • Moorgate continues to have a limited Northern Line service to the North.
  • Crossrail continues work on the other branches.

Note.

  1. There is a crossover to the North of Moorgate station, which might allow Moorgate to work as a two-platform terminal station handling up to 4 or 6 trains per hour (tph).
  2. If Crossrail is running at Moorgate, the station should be step-free to and from the deep-level platforms.
  3. Transport for London are looking at walking routes on the Moorgate and London Bridge route.
  4. During the closure of the Northern Line through Bank, passengers for the City will go to Moorgate and walk or perhaps take a bus.

It is my view, that Crossrail must be open, before the Northern Line through Bank station is closed to allow work to be completed.

A Demonstration of the Northern Line Capacity At Moorgate When Working As A Terminal Station

Yesterday, which was a Sunday, the Northern Line was closed between Moorgate and London Bridge stations.

  • After a walk, I returned home from Moorgate station via Angel station, where I got a 38 bus.
  • I was surprised to find that trains on the Northern Line were leaving Moorgate station for the North every four to five minutes.

This would seem to indicate that frequencies of between 12 and 15 tph are possible.

Current frequencies through Bank station are 24 tph in the Peak and 20 tph in the Off Peak, so it will be a substantial reduction. But it is better, than my original estimate earlier in this section.

33% More Trains on the Northern Line Charing Cross Branch

Currently, the Charing Cross branch has a capacity of twenty-four tph and handles the following services in the Peak.

  • 10 tph between Edgware and Kennington
  • 2 tph between Edgware and Morden
  • 10 tph between High Barnet and Kennington
  • 2 tph between High Barnet and Morden

And these services in the Off Peak.

  • 10 tph between Edgware and Kennington
  • 10 tph between High Barnet and Kennington

Note.

  1. Extra trains go between the two Northern branches and Morden via the Bank branch.
  2. Kennington and Morden can handle 28 tph and regularly does.
  3. The loop at Kennington turns twenty trains per hour in both the Peak and the Off Peak

If there is an increase of 33 % in the number of trains, this must mean that 32 tph will run through Charing Cross in the Peak and 28 tph in the Off Peak.

  • The signalling system on the Northern Line is the same as that on the Jubilee Line, where it handles 30 tph.
  • It also can handle up to 30 tph between Kennington and Morden on the Northern Line.
  • Perhaps it can be stretched to 32 tph through Charing Cross in the Peak.

If the Charing Cross branch can only be uprated to 30 tph, that is still an increase of 25 % in the number of trains.

The Kennington Loop

I mentioned the Kennington Loop and this beautiful old drawing shows its layout.

Note.

  1. South is at the top of the drawing.
  2. At present, as I said, the loop turns twenty tph all day.
  3. The extension to Battersea connects to the loop.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows a map of the loop.

Note.

  1. The Charing Cross branch goes to the North-West from Kennington.
  2. The Bank branch goes to the North-East from Kennington.
  3. ,The lines to Battersea are shown dotted.
  4. Trains using the extension to Battersea can only use the Charing Cross branch.

I don’t know, but I wouldn’t be surprised, if the line speed to and from Battersea, is faster than it is round the loop.

It’s just that the lines to Battersea are not such a sharp curve and they have been recently designed and built.

As the Modern branch can handle 30 tph, I wouldn’t be surprised to find that the Battersea extension has been designed to handle this frequency.

The Northern Line Extension To Battersea

This document on the Transport for London web site gives details of the Northern Line Extension To Battersea.

This paragraph introduces the project.

The Northern line extension (NLE) between Kennington and Battersea will help regenerate the Vauxhall, Nine Elms and Battersea areas by supporting new jobs and homes. The extension is scheduled to be completed in autumn 2021.

The opening of the extension could offer benefits to the existing Northern Line.

As I said in the previous section, twenty tph are turned at Kennington using the loop.

Will all these trains now use the new Battersea extension, when it opens?

  • The Battersea extension is fully double-track.
  • Battersea Power Station station has two platforms and a cross-over, so if Brixton and Walthamstow Central stations can handle in excess of 30 tph, I suspect London’s newest terminal station can too!

If the Battersea extension has a design capacity of 30 tph, it would certainly be able to handle 20 tph.

So I wouldn’t be surprised to see all trains that currently turn at Kennington will take the Battersea extension, when it opens.

There must surely be the interesting possibility of before the Battersea extension opens to passengers, using it to turn the trains that would otherwise use the loop at Kennington. It would certainly be a very thorough test, of track and signalling.

I am fairly certain, there would be advantages in having the Battersea extension open before the Bank branch is upgraded.

  • Running trains to Battersea could be more efficient than using the Kennington Loop.
  • Opening the Battersea extension would need the signalling at Kennington to be upgraded and fully tested, so any changes needed for increased frequencies on the Charing Cross branch could be performed at the same time.
  • All the residents of the new housing in Battersea. would have an Underground connection.

Opening the Battersea extension will change passenger patterns on the Northern Line and as the changes will be difficult to predict, it would surely be better to upgrade Bank station, after the opening of the Battersea extension.

Thameslink

Thameslink is not mentioned in any of the Transport for London documents, but surely it has a big part to play.

  • Thameslink serves a lot of stations in South and South East London and beyond, including Brighton, East Croydon, Orpington, Sevenoaks and Woolwich Arsenal.
  • Thameslink has an interchange with the Circle and District Lines at Blackfriars.
  • Thameslink has an interchange with the Metropolitan and Circle Lines at Farringdon.
  • Thameslink will have an interchange with Crossrail at Farringdon.
  • Blackfriars and City Thameslink stations have good walking routes along the River and to the City.

Thameslink should be appearing on the Tube Map any time soon.

Waterloo And City Line

I am missing the Drain, as it is the easiest way for people in the area, where I live to get to Waterloo station.

I just take a bus to Bank and then walk underground to London’s shortest Underground line.

According to this article on London SE1, it is closed because of the covids, but should reopen in April 2021.

Surely, Transport for London could reopen the line, if they vaccinated all the drivers.

As the Waterloo and City Line has an independent new entrance on Wallbrook, there should be no reason, why it couldn’t reopen before the Northern Line through bank is upgraded.

The Central Line At Bank Station

Nothing has been said, about whether the Central Line will be closed through Bank station, during the upgrade.

I don’t think it will be continuously closed, although access to some parts may be restricted.

There could be partial closures at weekends or in the evenings.

So for commuters and other must-travellers, I suspect the Central Line will get through.

The Circle And District Lines At Monument Station

My thoughts about the Circle and District Line would be similar to the Central Line.

But these lines with their connections at Westminster, Blackfriars, Cannon Street, Tower Hill and Whitechapel could prove important during the works.

The Docklands Light Railway At Bank Station

Again my thoughts about the Docklands Light Railway would be similar to the Central Line.

But there is a lot of work going on to improve access to the Docklands Light Railway, and this could result in a closure to allow completion.

Review Bus Use

When I come into London Bridge station, I usually go to the bus station and get a bus, which stops within fifty metres of my front door. Going to London Bridge isn’t as convenient and I take a variety of routes.

But the corridor between London Bridge and Old Street via Bank and Moorgate has three bus routes; 21, 43 and 141, the last two of which terminate in the bus station at London Bridge. I suspect that the frequency of the last two buses could be increased, if they had a few more buses and drivers, and turned them faster at London Bridge.

I also feel there is scope to run a shuttle between Finsbury Square and London Bridge station.

  • It would loop round Finsbury Square at the Northern end.
  • It would loop through London Bridge station, as the 43 and 141 buses currently do.
  • They would serve Moorgate and Bank.
  • As it will be running through a busy part of the City with lots of pedestrians, these buses should be either battery or hydrogen.
  • But as they should be high-capacity double-deckers, battery probably wouldn’t have enough power.

What better way would there be, to showcase London’s new hydrogen buses?

And I’m sure Jo Bamford, would make sure that London had enough new Wrightbus hydrogen buses  to provide the service.

National Rail Between Charing Cross/Waterloo And London Bridge

I am probably not alone in using this route in preference to the Jubilee Line to travel between Westminster and London Bridge, as where there is an alternative to the deep-level Underground, I will often use it.

In my case coming home from Waterloo, I’ll often hop to London Bridge on National Rail and then get a 141 bus home.

This is classic ducking and diving on my part.

I’m sure others will do the same during the Bank branch closure.

I would also hope, that season tickets would allow passengers to swap terminals without too much trouble and any expense.

National Rail Between Cannon Street And London Bridge

Using Cannon Street instead of London Bridge could be an relatively easy alternative for many passengers.

  • It connects to the Circle and District Lines.
  • There are East-West buses outside the station.

This Google Map shows the location of the station.

There are a number of useful walking routes from the station, which is towards the bottom of the image slightly towards the right.

  • Bank station is about 300 metres and six minutes away.
  • The North-South buses between Moorgate and London Bridge on King William Street are 200 metres and three minutes away.
  • St. Paul’s is a bit further but it does have the Central Line and lots of buses including the 76 to Moorgate and Old Street stations.

At seventy-three, I can still walk between Cannon Street and Moorgate stations in 15 minutes.

Walking Between London Bridge and Moorgate

Transport for London have said they will review this.

It is not a difficult walk and it has improved since traffic was reduced at Bank.

Conclusion

As originally planned, the timings of the various projects were such that these projects would be more of less completed before the upgrade of the tracks at Bank station was to be performed.

  • Crossrail
  • The Northern Line Extension to Battersea.
  • The new Wallbrook entrance to Bank station.

But no-one had foreseen Covid-19.

So I would plan the date of the Northern Line closure with the utmost care.

February 8, 2021 Posted by | Health, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Go-ahead For £900m London Bishopsgate Goodsyard

The title of this post, is the same as that, of this article on Construction Enquirer.

It seems a good scheme.

  • Mixed-use urban quarter.
  • 500 homes, half affordable.
  • 1.4m sq ft of workspace
  • Public park sitting on top of restored historic railway arches
  • Six acres of public realm.

There is only one major problem, as far as I can see. – If Crossrail is still running late, this project could further delay it, by stealing the resources needed to finish the job.

Yet again, the Mayor has given planning permission to a project that could delay Crossrail, by stealing its resources.

Planning permission, should be conditional on Crossrail being finished.

A Central Line Connection To The East London Line At Shoreditch High Street Station

Shoreditch High Street station will be very close to the development.

There will be twenty trains per hour (tph) on London Overground’s East London Line.

Under Future Proposals in the Wikipedia entry for the station, this is said.

There have also been discussions of creating an interchange with the Central line between Liverpool Street and Bethnal Green which runs almost underneath the station. However, this would not be able to happen until after the Crossrail 1 project is complete, due to extreme crowding on the Central line during peak hours.

I think it will be a good idea, to create the connection.

December 4, 2020 Posted by | News, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Could Highbury & Islington And Canada Water Stations Be Connected By A Twelve Trains Per Hour Service?

This article on IanVisits, is entitled More Frequent Trains And A New Station For The London Overground.

This is said.

In a statement, the government agreed to requests for £80.8 million from the GLA to support transport upgrades so that 14,000 homes can be built along the East London Line.

Upgrades include

  • New Bermondsey station, which was originally to be called Surrey Canal Road, will be built.
  • A second entrance will be built at Surrey Quays station.
  • Frequency between Dalston Junction and Clapham Junction stations will be increased from four trains per hour (tph) to six tph.
  • Frequency between Highbury & Islington and Crystal Palace stations will be increased from four tph to six tph.

The frequency upgrades will mean twenty tph between Dalston Junction and Surrey Quays stations, or a tyrain every three minutes as opposed to the  current three minutes and forty-five seconds.

Consider the section of the East London Line that I use most between Highbury & Islington and Canada Water stations via Whitechapel station.

  • Highbury & Islington station has good connections to the Victoria Line, the Northern City Line and the North London Line.
  • Highbury & Islington station is the thirteenth busiest station in the UK.
  • Whitechapel station has good connections to the District and Hammersmith & City Lines, which have recently been increased in Frequency.
  • Whitechapel station will be on Crossrail, when it opens.
  • Canada Water station has a good step-free connection to the Jubilee Line.
  • Canada Water station is the seventeenth busiest station in the UK.
  • Currently, the frequency between Highbury & Islington and Canada Water station is eight tph and after the improvements it will be ten tph.

The frequency increase is to be welcomed but I wonder if it could be better.

Would it be possible that in addition to the proposed changes, the West Croydon and Clapham Junction services should swap Northern terminals, as they do on Sundays.

This would not affect any services South of Dalston Junction, but it would increase the number of services between Dalston Junction and Highbury & Islington via Canonbury to twelve tph.

This would give several benefits.

  1. Passengers changing from the North London Line to go South, would have an easier change at the less-crowded Canonbury station, rather than Highbury & Islington. Canonbury has only one Southbound platform, simpler passenger flows, is fully step-free and as the trains on the East London Line, will be at a higher frequency, the waiting time would be less and a maximum of just five minutes.
  2. Passengers could avoid the cramped Dalston Kingsland, which is not step-free, on many journeys.
  3. Half the trains going North through Dalston Junction would have a cross-platform interchange with the Westbound North London Line at Highbury & Islington.
  4. Passengers going South from Dalston Junction wouldn’t dither about at the bottom of the stairs, trying to ascertain, which train is going first. As there would be sixteen trains per hour leaving on the left island Platform 3/4, only passengers going to New Cross would go right.
  5. Dalston Kingsland and Highbury & Islington is one of the busiest Peak Hour services in the UK. Twelve trains per hour on the alternative route might ease the congestion.
  6. The increased frequency might help, when Arsenal are playing at home.
  7. In some ways, maximising the service between Dalston Junction and Highbury & Islington, compensates for the annoying cut-back of the 277 bus service.

I do feel that swapping the two services so that both six train per hour services terminate at Highbury & Islington could be beneficial.

Hopefully, TfL have got there first! Unless of course, there’s an operational reason, why the swap can’t be done!

 

October 30, 2019 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Penge Interchange

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines through Penge West and Penge East stations.

The two stations are a valid out-of-station interchange, but neither is step-free.

Penge East station could be difficult to make step-free, as the footbridge is listed.

I think that it is one of those structures that Network Rail wouldn’t miss, if it was decided to install it at the National Railway Museum.

Could this be one of the reasons, why it has been suggested by Transport for London, that a new station be built, where the lines through the two Penge stations cross.

  • It could be fully step-free.
  • The station would be built on railway land.
  • It would have four tph between Victoria and Bromley South stations.
  • It would have four tph between Highbury & Islington and West Croydon stations.
  • It would have two tph between London Bridge and Caterham stations
  • It might also be possible to have platforms on the Crystal Palace branch, thus adding six tph between Highbury & Islington and Crystal Palace. stations.
  • The station could have Thameslink platforms.

I feel it would offer the following benefits.

  • Better connection between South East and North London.
  • Better connection between South East London and Crossrail, with all its connections.

Penge Interchange might allow the two older Penge stations to be closed.

September 13, 2019 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 5 Comments